How were our sports wallets created?
Through a combination of passion, technical expertise, and divine encounters.
Pro Style Sports began with a simple vision - a wallet made out of real baseballs. Fortunately the man with that vision, founder Michael Austin, was a lifelong baseball fanatic and trained engineer - the perfect combination to bring this vision to life.
When Pro Style Sports began in 2004, Michael was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University studying Environmental Engineering. The first step in creating a baseball wallet was making several designs using baseball "figure 8's" cut out of paper. Once he found a design he liked, he set out to make a prototype. As a graduate student on a tight budget, rather than buy a dozen balls on Ebay, every day he walked past the Commodores baseball field after class looking for foul balls. Once he had collected enough for a wallet, he took the the balls apart once stitch at a time. Then using the same red thread, a needle, and an awl, he restitched the covers into the original baseball wallet. Doing the whole thing by hand, Michael spent over 40 hours on the project.
Having studied engineering, Michael knew about design but had no experience or knowledge about manufacturing. Fortunately his friend Dr. Shor was a professor in the Business School, and soon the baseball wallet was a project in the entrepreneurship class. Working with 3 MBA students to investigate manufacturing and marketing, Michael streamlined the layout to the current design.
As his classmates graduated and used their technical training to design bridges and waterways, Michael chose to use his to perfect the baseball wallet. With AutoCAD, a computer drafting program used by architects and engineers, he imported a photo of a deconstructed baseball into his computer, traced the outline, and created a series of orthogonal guidelines to place the holes in their exact locations. The design was complete.
All Pro Style Sports needed now was a team of craftsmen to make the wallets. Again, Michael was in the right place at the right time. One evening while in downtown Nashville with friends, he met Mr. Dey, a friend of a friend who was earning an MBA at Babson College and was visiting for the weekend. Mr Dey knew the owner of a leather manufacturing company looking for new clients - clients like Pro Style Sports.
Using genuine baseball, football, and softball leather, tanned in the USA, our custom engineered designs, and experienced manufacturers, Pro Style Sports is able to offer some of the most authentic sports products on the market today.